It all starts with a story

“You are not a monster. The world is monstrous at times, and there are those who would have you believe that you are terrible by association.

You are are not Worse for your association with the world, but it is better for its association with You.”
Paraphrase from Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

This made me cry. Made me howl in pain. Because, is this not what people who really know me have been saying. And I’ve been saying sure, yes, you’re right. But I didn’t see it. Couldn’t see it. Couldn’t see that I was not, in fact, a monster. Until I read this. Until it broke me.

I can see how I may have been wrong now. That I may not be a monster. Or not the bad kind of monster anyway.

We are all thin veneers of lies and pain and truths we’ve woven into who we think we are. And if we crack the surface, the darkness can spill out or in depending on our internal equilibrium. But the darkness is not evil, just as the light is not good. Rather a balance of forces. And choices. We can choose to be honorable. We can choose to take care of ourselves and our friends and family. To show kindness to strangers. To see those who are unseen. We can choose to hide. We can choose.

But only if we accept that our impact on the world is tangible. And if it is tangible, would we not prefer it to be a thing of beauty?

It’s odd, really. My family sees the boy I was. And, rightfully, they see the darkness that consumed him.
But I am not that boy any longer. And still they cannot see the man. But I know… I know others do. And now, I think I see him a bit too.

Freedom found

I worry. I worry that whatever I am. This creature, this person I have chosen to be. This person I have actively defined by my choices.
I worry that when you finally see me, all that structure and facade will fall away and you’ll be left with what I am.

And all of that is a lie. It’s a lie that my fear tells my heart because it needs to maintain its control. But it is a lie.

I have constructed myself but it was like chipping away at a hunk of marble. I didn’t build a structure on top of a structure. There is no facade. There is just this false feeling of being an imposter. Because if I’m all that I am and then I fail it will be because I was not enough. Or because what I am is not what is desired. And that is my fear. Not that something I’ve done or not done will be the cause of rejection but that despite it all. Despite who I am, I am somehow not what is wanted.

That’s the fear. It’s not that I am an imposter and will be found out. It’s that I’m NOT and despite it all will still be found wanting. And I can’t do anything about that. I can be me. I can show up and put all the tools and processes and everything I am and if it’s still not enough, then we’re just not meant to be. Not meant to click and choose each other.

And seeing that now, I wonder at what I was afraid of? Afraid that I’d be rejected by someone who won’t, who can’t see me? Can’t value me?

There might be pain because I will have invested emotionally but if you can’t love who I am, why should I allow that to hurt me. It should instead free me. And it does

Realization catalyst

Life is a interesting place. In the last week I’ve been forced to confront some things. Basically, I have never considered myself to be attractive. If someone is with me I assume it is because of my personality or my art or my dominance. I assume that my physicality enters into it lightly. I’m tall. I’m dark. Two out of three right?

But then someone called me fucking beautiful. Those were her words. I didn’t trust them. I don’t trust compliments, mostly. So I asked someone who would know. A good friend who used to be more than that. I asked her and she said yeah, I can say that you are fucking beautiful and she got into specifics. Keeping in mind I told her it was in reference to me physically not emotionally, intellectually, or artistically. She got specific and I went… Oh.

Huh. I don’t think of myself in those terms. I’ve felt a lot of rejection based on the physical. And I internalized it. So I never concentrated on it. I’ve worked on my emotions and my art and expanded my experience.

And I’ve been told I have a good voice and I thought that’s just how my recorded voice sounds. But I asked people who know me in person and apparently, soothing and darkly heavy was the conclusion. So now I have to, if I trust these opinions, and I do. I have to incorporate that truth into my self image. And it’s honestly a bit freeing.

Now, I’m not perfect so it’s not like knowing there are very attractive people who find me attractive is going to go to my head but it’s nice to know.

A lifetime of thinking one way gets blown out of the water in one short week. Life, it’s a funny old thing.

Jealous

No right to be jealous but I am
You aren’t mine
Not mine in the way I want you to be mine
Not mine, blood and bone
Not mine, whip and roan
Not mine but I want to know what you are doing all the time
Not mine but I’m jealous of anyone spending time with you

But the odd thing is that if you were mine
I’d not be jealous
I’d know you were coming home to me

Thoughts on physical consciousness

I was talking with someone about my personal cosmology. And in the course of the discussion the topic shifted, tangentially, to specific methodology in meditation.

I said that in order to truly transcend the physical you need to be aware of it completely. I started by asking, “What do you feel right now?”

His answer was vague and imprecise. Not like someone ignorant of the concept but like someone who’s never thought about it.

So I asked, “Tell me what your foot feels right now.” And he looked at me like I was really far out on a limb.

I said, “I feel the fabric of my socks, the material of my shoe, the skin of my Big toe brushing against the toe next to it. I feel the edges of the nerve dead zone on that toe(caused by a infection in my leg that almost killed me), I feel the muscles of my foot and legs holding position against the pull of gravity. That’s what I feel right this second. That is all information that I am aware of and information that I am subconsciously paying attention to. Imagine that for your whole body. Every scrap of feeling is necessary to understand where you start from, so that you can feel the borders of your skin, so that you can connect outside yourself. If you don’t know where you start, you can’t know where you are going.”

We talked in that vein for awhile.

But it really effected me. In having to teach, I had to consciously think about and conceptualize something I do and take for granted. It’s how I am able to regulate pain, how I can feel physical bliss just by feeling the wind. How a single touch, kiss, look, can move me. In some cases, I can feel the physical connection of a look across the room, because I am aware of my body in that way.

And it really hit me, that this is a smart guy, someone who asks questions and looks for answers, and he has no frame of reference for what I am saying. It’s like trying to describe color to the color blind. They understand sight and seeing but their frame of reference is different.

Is that how most people walk through the world? I don’t know.

Through the caul

In all my wakings,
 as thought filters past dream,
  I think of lovers past and future.
Of tentative kiss and hopeful touch.
 Of breaking heart and building wave.
  Of empty beds and too cold sheets.
This sprawl, this hope, this life.
 And finally, I think of you.
  And know,
Having known your embrace, your love, your touch
 your dreams,
  your darkness.
And know that I am worthy of love,
 deep and powerful as an undertow,
  having known it with you.